Never underestimate the power of no

Daniel Herron | Unsplash

“It’s worth saying no to those that will never understand your value.” 

Something I wrote in a tweet about clients undervaluing the creative industries that resonated in me, I talk a lot about saying no.

I spent years appeasing other people, saying yes to things that I shouldn’t have. I was pretty unfulfilled.

Yes is powerful

Yes can make you feel good, it can make the recipient also feel good — it’s sometimes the right answer. But when it’s the only word you use, things become unbalanced.

When you work for yourself, all the decisions are on you and if you’re a renowned people pleaser, this can be really tough; admin, accounts, client management, project management, biscuit management. You name it, you have to make decisions on it, you can’t help but do what’s right FOR EVERYONE 🥵

No is moreso

This can get you into real sticky situations. It did me, I said yes when I felt in my gut I needed to say no, I got manipulated by early clients, I’m still owed money (now written off), bailifs were involved. It got disappointing. 

I learned things the hard way. 

What I did…

So after struggling for a few years, I got a life coach.

I rave about her everywhere I can, I’ve been with her for a few years now and she’s on my wavelength. I knew that if I didn’t get some external help things wouldn’t change, but remember, the relationship you have with a coach or therapist is an incredibly intimate one, so the fit needs to be good.

If you’re thinking of getting one; research, test, research again, and make a decision on the one that is right for you.

RELATED: Know your worth

Over these years she’s helped me;

  • discard an old relationship, which were thoughts that weren’t serving me in any aspect of my life
  • understand my worth
  • feel good about upping my prices rather than guilty
  • learn to say no and not feel that dibiliating guilt us people pleasers often do.

These were all things I needed help with, I couldn’t do it alone and no amount of talking to friends was going to help me enough. 

Over my time as a freelancer so far I’ve learned that we obviously bring ‘ourselves’ into it, that includes any issues and negative thought processes. The psychology side of this is so important, and often overlooked. 

RELATED: How to go freelance, a psychological guide

So, if you’re finding that you’re struggling with not finding the right clients for you, saying yes when you really mean no, suffering with feeling unfulfilled, new thinking may be required. 

That may need some external intervention, so seek that out however you can and need, it’s a very personal journey. 


Hello, I’m Nik , I specialise in Marketing & Brand Design for start-ups and small businesses. I also enjoy writing about freelancing, design, authenticity and experience-based thoughts and positive outcomes. Follow me Twitter | LinkedIn

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